Wednesday, July 29, 2009

MMMM...Pancakes.....and Scallops. Just not together!

Today was a dreary, rainy day which sparked my need to cook and eat. I have been saying for awhile that I wanted to make a bulk batch of pancakes(the kids eat the frozen ones like they're going out of style). I also had some delicious fresh berries that would make a perfect addition to the batches. The trick to pancakes is using butter to grease the pan - remember, the first batch won't be perfect - but the second and the rest will be. Also, start off with high heat, then decrease. Here is a home made recipe, but you can never beat Bisquick!

Homemade Pancake Recipe

1 egg

1 cup of flour

3/4 cup of milk

2 TBSP of oil

1 TBSP of sugar

3 TSP of baking powder

1/2 TSP of salt

Mix the dry ingredient, then add the wet. Mix and let sit for about 5 minutes. When pan is heated, use a ladle to pour batter onto surface. Add sliced strawberries or whole blueberries to mixture. When top is completely bubbled, flip.

As far as fat and nutrition are concerned, I usually measure the calories according to the size of the pancake. One pancake, equal or slightly bigger than a DVD/CD, is around 110 calories and 3-4 grams of fat. When you grease the pan, use a spread that is lower in fat and cholesterol, like I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. And of course, 'lite' syrup, like Aunt Jemima Lite.

For dinner, I decided we needed to eat more seafood. I made my husband's favorite, bacon wrapped scallops. I learned a trick at a fabulous seafood restaurant in Florida. To keep the scallops from becoming rubber, marinate them in milk for at least two hours before cooking.

To cut back on the fat, I used turkey bacon as the wrap, and surprisingly, my husband enjoyed them. I served them over angel hair pasta with a lite scampi sauce.

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

20 scallops

10 slices of turkey bacon, cut in half

1 clove of garlic, diced

1 TBSP I Can't Believe It's Not Butter

1-2 Cups of Angel Hair Pasta

Marinate scallops in milk and season with salt and pepper for 2 hours

Preheat oven to 325 and cook bacon for 8 minutes(I checked it at the halfway point and flipped the slices)

When done, wrap the slices around the scallops and secure with tooth picks

Cook scallops at 400 for about 10 minutes or until cooked through

In a pan, melt 1 TBSP of ICBINB and add chopped garlic. Add to cooked pasta and serve scallops on top

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Can't Keep Away from the Sausage and I Am Shaking My Cupcakes At You!

Sounds dirty, right? Food wise, I guess it is, at least if you're on a diet. So, behold my latest recipe(which I did not de-fat) and the lovely, boxed and canned cupcakes and frosting I made for my 1 year old's birthday.

Roasted Peppers with Oricchette

1-2 Sweet Red Pepper
1-2 Yellow Peppers
1 LB Oricchette or short pasta
2 TBS Olive OIl
1 LB Sweet SAusage, casings removed
1 TBS butter
1/3 cup of grated parmesan

Heat broiler and place peppers in skin side up, on a foil lined baking sheet
Broil 4 inches from heat, 15-20 minutes until charred
Transfer to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap - steam 2-3 minutes
Using a paper towel, rub off skins, reserving any juice in bowl
Cut peps into 1/4 inch strips and set aside
Boil pasta until al dente, drain and reserve 1/2 cup of water
Brown Sausage in olive oil, 6-10 minutes, then add peppers, heat through
Add mixture to pasta, with water,butter and parmesan. Toss and enjoy!!!

How to kick the fat from this? Try turkey sausage and cut down the olive oil, replacing it with OO PAM. I will do that on my next attempt. Tonight was about portion control and exercise. I did 35 minutes of high intensity cardio while watching Season 1 of The Secret Lives of the American Teenager. I swear I am going to weld my daughter's knees together when she becomes a teen.

Dessert was light whipped cream with strawberries,raspberries and blueberries. I'd rather a hot fudge sundae, but it was not bad. As for the cupcakes this week, my only tip is cut off the frosting top and give it to your skinny husband. Just eat the bottom!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Back on Track....for now.

After a bad start yesterday, I managed to redeem myself with a healthy grilled chicken sandwich and green beans for dinner, and for dessert, 30 minutes of high intensity cardio while watching Buffy, Season 2. I made my own marinade for the chicken breast - 2 TBSP of olive oil, TBSP Black pepper, TBSP of smoked paprika and 1/2 cup of white vinegar. It was a 10 oz breast, which I split with my husband. I served it on a whole wheat bun, topped with Dijon mustard and spicy BBQ sauce(about 1 TSP each). I steamed the green beans, but couldn't decide how to dress them. I accidentally squirted them with some Dijon - which couldn't have been more perfect! I ate them like french fries, dipping them in the Dijon. It sounds like something I would have done while pregnant, but it was really tasty :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Looking for a good way to stay on your diet? Make a big 'ole pan of something you don't like! That is exactly what I did yesterday. I made a fresh pan of meat lasagna for the boys and Kate, which left me free to eat what I wanted, within reason. I HATE cheese(for the most part), so this was a win-win situation. I love to cook and watch people enjoy my meals. I also loathe lasagna, so I wasn't tempted to gobble down all of its artery-clogging goodness.
Back to me, now. I have been, BAD,BAD,BAD in recent weeks. I was having a great run for awhile - getting in at least 1 hour of exercise, 5 times a week. I was eating well and getting a good amount of sleep. That all went to shit when we went on vacation (see previous post). Letting my healthy routine fall to the wayside was actually a good thing. Without it, I realize just how badly my body reacts to awful food and laziness. That has never happened to me before. I realize that living a healthy lifestyle is something I need to do or I am not a happy camper. I do beleive in enjoying food and drink in moderation. I do beleive in switching up your exercise routine when you get bored. The bottom line is we all need to take care of ourselves to be happy. We can take care of others, as long as we don't neglect ourselves.
Here's the lasagna recipe for those interested:
1/2 box of lasagna noodles
16 oz of tomato sauce or puree
Basil, garlic powder, salt & pepper
24-32 oz of Ricotta cheese
1/2 pound chopped meat
24 oz of shredded mozzarella
2 eggs
Cook lasagna, drain and rinse with cold water
Mix Ricotta, 2 eggs and spices(spice to your taste)
In a pan, brown chopped meat with 1 -2 TBS olive oil and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper - just brown, do not over cook!
When meat is done - layer in a lasagna pan as follows: cooking spray, sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce, meat noodles, repeat. Save most of the mozzarella for the top layer. Sprinkle on basil. Bake in over for 20-30 minutes in oven at 350. Keep checking to make sure lasagna noodles are not burning(this varies from oven to oven). Remove when golden and bubbly. Let lasagna cool uncovered for 30 minutes to set. Then cover with tinfoil. You can eat or refrigerate at this point.

Monday, July 13, 2009

EA Active & Yummy Franchaise

After returning from a nightmarish Disney trip, I decided it was time to jump back on the healthy food and fitness bandwagon. I was doing an awesome job of working out and eating well during the weeks before we left. Low and behold, the call of fried food and sweet treats got the best of me and I gained some weight back. My son was not the best eater on vacation, with one day of refusing to eat, except for some gummy bears. Tonight I borrowed a recipe from the talented Lauren
for Chicken Franchaise. I made some minor adjustments to lower the fat count. I substituted 'I Can't Belive It's Not Butter' for the butter portion; I also used PAM to coat the pan and a tad less olive oil. You just have to keep a close eye on the chicken to make sure it does not stick to the pan or burn. I added steamed brocolli and 1/4 cup of white rice to add bulk to the dish.
In the meanwhile, I have also discover EA Active personal trainer for the Wii. As much as I love Wii Fit, this is even more of a challenge. Totally DO NOT shower BEFORE working out with this. I don't sweat much in general, but after this workout, I was drenched. I was also a bit sore the next day, so I could tell it worked my muscles well. I started the 30 Day Challenge, but only made it to Day Two since most of my family was struck down by an awful head cold. I hope to be back in fighting shape by the coming weekend.